I make no secret of the fact that I primarily do 5:2 to lose weight. I know it is said to have all kinds of other benefits, and that is great, but they are not the reason I do it.
I’m not hugely overweight. In fact, for my height, I am fairly certain I would not be classed as overweight at all, but I have a pesky 7lbs that I want to shift. 14lbs if I am really honest. But I’d be happy with 7. Happyish, anyway. Not Pharrell Williams happy, but, I could live with that.
So it becomes really frustrating when weight loss plateaus out, even though you’re eating well, being active, and doing 5:2 in it’s classic form – ie, 500 calories, 2 days a week, and normal eating the other 5 days without going overboard, and that just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.
Which is why I gave paleo eating a go. I adapted it so it works for me, because if there is one thing I know about modifying your eating habits, it’s that if it is too much of a change, it won’t work, you won’t stick at it, and then you’ll be back at square one all over again.
Admittedly I started last week as a huge paleo sceptic, only committing to a week, to shock my body into losing again. I have a breadmaker, which I use almost daily (oy! Waking up to the smell of fresh bread slays me, people, it really does), I love a jacket potato, linguine is just about the best thing ever. How could I cope with such a huge reduction in my beloved carbs? I thought I’d get to Wednesday and want to give up. But in actual fact, I got to Wednesday – the height of ‘carb flu’, and found I was enjoying it. When I served up spag bol, I didn’t want the spag. When we had steak, I ate it with sweet potato fries instead of my usual Roosters.
True paleo calls for no dairy, and that is where I have adapted it. If I am having salad, you’d better believe I’m going to have it with a caesar style dressing, which I make with creme fraiche, and a little mayo. I love coffee, but not black. A little cream cheese really perks up a stick of celery. You get the idea.
Combining 5:2 with paleo hasn’t been tricky at all – I’m basically just eating the kind of things I’d eat on a fast day, but eating them all the time, and allowing myself a few treats at the weekend. I think the two work really well together.
So far, with a little meal planning, and a fair bit of self control, it’s going pretty well. Here is a selection of this week’s meals:
Roast chicken salad, with walnuts and apple. This was a fasting day, so that was my only big meal. I snacked on a little stir fried veg at lunchtime, and of course, drank a lot of fluids.
Chicken Waldorf salad lettuce wraps. Waldorf salad, and I’d forgotten how much I love a Waldorf salad, served in romaine lettuce leaves as a quick lunch that is really delicious, and easy to eat!
Chicken and vegetable stir fry. Leftover roast chicken, stir fried with grated ginger, garlic, Thai green curry paste and soy sauce, and a packet of stir fry veg. Simple, and really fast – the entire dish took 5 minutes to cook.
(Please excuse the slightly out of focus photo, I am getting to grips with a new lens)
Another fasting day meal, bolognese in baked red pepper, and a simple green salad. The fam had theirs with pasta instead of the pepper.
I made flapjack for the kids on Wednesday, and this was somewhat of an error, as I went a bit feral for it on Thursday morning.
So there you have it, I’m going to spend this evening meal planning for next week. What I am taking from paleo and 5:2 combined is cleaner eating, a reduction in processed foods, and cooking from scratch, and since I basically ate like that anyway, it hasn’t been a huge stretch.